al-Jalalayn

 — al-Jalalayn —

-Name of the Mufassiroon:

This work was initiated by one author and finished by another after the death of the first.

The first author was Jalal al-Deen al-Mahilli, or Muhammad ibn Ahmad, al-Shaafi’ee. He was distinguished in the areas of fiqh, usool, grammar, and logic. He died in 864Ah/1469CE.

The second author was his student, Jalal al-Deen al-Suyooti, or ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abu Bakr. He was a prolific author who excelled in a number of sciences, most notably hadeeth. He died 911Ah/1505CE.

-Name of the Book:

Tafsir al-Jalalayn [تفسير الجلالين]

-General Description of the Book:

This work was begun by al-Mahilli, who completed the tafsir of surah al-Kahf (18) until surah al-Nas (114), as well as surah al-Fatihah (01) before his death. al-Suyooti was then encouraged to complete this work, and thus wrote the tafsir of surahs al-Baqarah (02) through al-Israa’ (17) in the same style and adopted some of al-Mahilli’s positions for consistency’s sake.

This book is distinguished by its brevity and conciseness, such that it is composed of only one volume and frequently published with the commentary surrounding the page of the mushaf to which it corresponds. But despite its size, it has been widely recognized as a valuable work of tafsir and has become one of the most well-known works of the genre. It has become very widespread and has generated a number of scholarly commentaries. In his introduction, al-Suyooti summarized its defining characteristics as: mentioning what is to be understood from Allah’s speech and relying on the majority opinion, providing clarity on grammatical issues where needed, pointing out only the well-known differences in recitation, and doing all of this in clear and simple language while avoiding digressing into differences of opinion or linguistic minutiae.

‘Aqeedah:

The work makes al-ta’weel of Allah’s names and attributes according to the Ash’ari school of theology, meaning that it interprets Allah’s names and attributes in a manner contrary to their apparent meaning and contrary to the understanding of the salaf.

-Stance regarding isnaads (chains of narration):

The work contains mention of some ahaadeeth, causes of revelation, and statements of the salaf, but all of these are brought without any chains of narration. In general, the work does not provide the source of the ahaadeeth it quotes, though it does mention the source book occasionally.

-Stance regarding Fiqh (legal) Rulings:

Tafsir al-Jalalayn contains some mention of the fiqh positions which they authors held to be the strongest opinion on a matter. The work does not delving into any detailed fiqh discussions.

-Stance regarding Qiraa’aat (different recitations):

In cases where a variant recitation is well-known, the authors mention this briefly.

-Stance regarding Israa’eeliyyaat (Judaeo-Christian traditions):

The work contains some allusions to and summarized forms of Israa’eeliyyaat stories without mentioning the tales in full or providing any follow-up comments on their contents or validity. Some of the stories which they mention include unbecoming false details about some of the prophets, such as what they mention regarding the Prophet Dawud in the tafsir of surah Saad.

-Stance regarding poetry, linguistic analysis, grammar, etc.:

The authors do mention issues of al-‘Iraab briefly throughout the work.

Bibliography:

القول المختصر المبين في مناهج المفسرين لمحمد بن حمد الحمود النجدي

التفسير والمفسرين لمحمد حسين الدهبي

التيسير لمعرفة المشهور من أسانيد و كتب التفسير


Back to Mufassir Profiles Index

See also: Advice Regarding the Books of Tafsir with Distorted ‘Aqeedah

See also: Books of Tafsir which are Advised Against for some notes regarding this work from sheikh Saalih al-Fawzaan